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Structure and Function of a Bacterial Gap Junction Analog.

08:00 EDT 11th July 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Structure and Function of a Bacterial Gap Junction Analog."

Multicellular lifestyle requires cell-cell connections. In multicellular cyanobacteria, septal junctions enable molecular exchange between sister cells and are required for cellular differentiation. The structure of septal junctions is poorly understood, and it is unknown whether they are capable of controlling intercellular communication. Here, we resolved the in situ architecture of septal junctions by electron cryotomography of cryo-focused ion beam-milled cyanobacterial filaments. Septal junctions consisted of a tube traversing the septal peptidoglycan. Each tube end comprised a FraD-containing plug, which was covered by a cytoplasmic cap. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching showed that intercellular communication was blocked upon stress. Gating was accompanied by a reversible conformational change of the septal junction cap. We provide the mechanistic framework for a cell junction that predates eukaryotic gap junctions by a billion years. The conservation of a gated dynamic mechanism across different domains of life emphasizes the importance of controlling molecular exchange in multicellular organisms.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Cell
ISSN: 1097-4172
Pages: 374-384.e15

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